The treatment for nasopharyngeal cancer is determined by the stage at which the tumour was discovered, the patient's overall health, and the danger of metastases to nearby or distant organs.
Treatment of nasopharyngeal carcinoma in early stages
- Patients diagnosed with stage 1 or stage 2 nasopharyngeal cancer are referred to as having "early-stage nasopharyngeal cancer." Because nasopharyngeal cancer is made up of radiosensitive tumours, the majority of treatment is radiation. Surgical excision of tumours in NPC is also highly challenging because of their anatomic position.
- IMRT (intensity-modulated radiation treatment) is a highly conformal radiation therapy approach that can give improved disease control with fewer side effects. External beam radiation therapy (EBRT) with a total dosage of 66Gy to 70Gy is delivered once a day, five times a week for six to seven weeks, combined with weekly concomitant chemotherapy.
- In such circumstances, surgery has a limited role to play because the position of the nasopharynx makes surgical excision impossible. Patients with persistent cancer in the neck after finishing radiation treatment may benefit from neck dissection.
Advance stage nasopharyngeal carcinoma treatment
Concurrent chemo-radiotherapy, similar to that given to patients with early-stage nasopharyngeal cancer, is the mainstay of treatment for patients whose cancer has advanced (progressed) beyond the nasopharynx area (in terms of tumour size or regional spread). Adjuvant chemotherapy for nasopharyngeal cancer patients has not been standardised.
Metastatic nasopharyngeal carcinoma treatment
- The tumours in nasopharyngeal cancer are extremely susceptible to treatment. As a result, systemic chemotherapy is given to NPC patients whose cancer has spread.
- Platinum-based chemotherapy is frequently used as the first line of treatment. When cancer progresses after primary chemotherapy, molecularly targeted medicines, immunotherapy treatments, and second-line chemotherapy are all options.
Recurrent nasopharyngeal carcinoma treatment
- Nasopharyngeal cancer recurrence can be characterised as either locoregional (local recurrence) or distant (far recurrence).
- In the case of locoregional recurrence, a thorough examination is carried out to rule out the likelihood of distant metastasis. Salvage surgery and re-irradiation are two treatment options for locoregional recurrence.
- The therapy of nasopharyngeal cancer distant recurrence is identical to that of metastatic illness. This comprises platinum-based systemic chemotherapy, as well as molecular targeted treatments and immunotherapy medicines.